Newton Abbot -Old Hospital
A cottage hospital was built in 1873 in East Street and was maintained by voluntary subscriptions and donations. It accommodated thirteen patients, which soon became apparent that this was inadequate for the needs of Newton Abbot and District.
A new larger hospital was built near the Baptist Chapel and adjoining the Union Workhouse.
It was made possible by two generous donors. D. R. Scratton, squire of the Ogwells, who presented the site, and Mrs Emmeline Fisher of Abbotsbury House, who at the time had just been left a widow, who bore the cost of building the first stage of the new hospital as a memorial to her late husband. Mrs Scratton laid the foundation stone in 1896, and then in 1898 declared the hospital open.
Before the National Health Service was established in 1948 when the state assumed ownership and control, Newton Abbot Hospital was run on an entirely voluntary basis.
A fund was set up to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria and this raised the sum of £1,044.
One of the great events in the calender of Newton Abbot was Hospital Saturday, which was held annually in order to raise funds for the hospital. A procession through the town was followed by collectors who were known to collect £500. There was often a firework display in the evening and food and drink served in the grounds of Dyrons House, which was the home of Mr Charles Vicary, Chairman of the Hospital Saturday Committee.
Some of the residents of Newton Abbot were known to have donated large amounts to the hospital fund, among those were the firms of Vicarys, Watts, Blake and Bearne, Mr Scratton who bequeathed an orchard behind the hospital, Thomas Mackrell and later the two Misses Mackrell, Rev Tudor, the Rector of Wolborough, Mrs Fisher, Mr R H M Baker, who was at one time Clerk to the Local Board, who also made the gift to the town of Bakers Park, and Dr H B Mapleton, a former Medical Officer of Health for Newton Abbot and District, after whom Mapleton House in Ashburton Road was named after.
Many local residents subscribed a fixed amount on a regular basis and there was a scheme whereby every man who earned less than £5 per week could insure hospital treatment for himself and his family by paying 2d per week. Funds raised by voluntary means paid for a Radiological Department, which in 1914 was the first one to be established in the South West Region. In 1927 hospital extensions were opened by HRH Edward Prince of Wales who was said to have annoyed at being kept waiting in the rain before being presented with the key.
The hospital has now been replaced by a new hospital at Jetty Marsh